Juggernaut online retailer Amazon ignited a powder keg across North America when they began calling for bids on which city they can build their second corporate headquarters in. Since their announcement last September, city after city have launched campaigns to snag that HQ2 and their promise of 50,000 “high-paying” job positions in the company. The bids range from conventional, like New York City’s promotion of its workforce and company presence (they have a Google office), to the weird like Tucson AZ’s gift of a saguaro cactus, or Stonecrest GA’s plan to rename a de-annexed portion of its area as “Amazon City.” This week, Kansas City MO joins the “wacky” bidders by means of an online shopping spree by the Mayor.

‘Unboxing’ video

Missouri’s Kansas City has thrown its hat into the ring for the Amazon HQ2, and it did so through some quirky dramatic build-up on social media via the Twitter account of Mayor Sly James. Early in the morning of Wednesday, October 11, Mayor James sent a photo tweet of himself in his office, surrounded by stacks of Amazon delivery boxes. His caption said he had been busy shopping online and would reveal why at a scheduled news conference later that day at 3 PM local time.

More details were revealed on his Facebook page, which had a video of the Mayor opening the Amazon boxes and pulling out assorted stuff like cereal boxes, wind chi, es and a bullhorn, all the while giving five-star reviews on each product on the Amazon website.

He also encouraged his constituents to leave a shout-out to Amazon on why they love Kansas City. All told, Mayor James bought no less than a thousand different products on the net retailing giant, leaving glowing reviews on his Amazon Prime account while never failing to mention his city at least once.

Long planning

The Kansas City campaign to land Amazon’s HQ2 did not come from out of nowhere however.

As early as last month when the initial announcement first came out, the Kansas City Star had a report on the community’s chances of success with a bid of their own. An earlier statement from the office of Mayor Sly James said that such a campaign would be hard work, but that Kansas City and a number of “regional partners” can present a “dynamic, innovative” image to attract Amazon’s business to them.

Amazon has stated that it will make a final decision on a host city for HQ2 by October 19. As for the 1,000 online products that Major James ordered off their platform, they will all be donated to local charities in Kansas City.